I started my involvement with primary school chess clubs back in 1993. It soon became clear to me that, although the clubs provided short-term fun, most children made little progress and soon gave up.

I started looking at the way young children were introduced to chess in other countries and found a very different story. Rather than learning the moves at home in half an hour and being plunged straight into competitive chess, children were learning the game more slowly, and only playing full games of chess after a year or so playing what we call MINICHESS.

I believe that, while a few very talented children might benefit from learning quickly, most children will gain more long-term benefit from taking a slower approach. I also believe, and this is the general view in many other countries, that elementary chess teaching should be delivered by class teachers or parents, not by chess tutors like myself.

MINICHESS gives all teachers and parents, whether or not they are chess players themselves, the tools to give their children the best possible start in chess.